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Huawei MatePad T 10S Review: Just the Right Balance

Should you spend money for this tablet?

Verdict: If you want the features on Huawei’s top-tier MatePad tablet but can’t justify spending Php 21K for one, the MatePad T 10S serves as an excellent alternative. While you’re downgrading the battery size and processor, you’re still getting access to plenty of features that make Huawei’s tablet series great. 

If you’re willing to sacrifice a bit more (namely storage, RAM and resolution), you can get the MatePad T 10 for Php 6,999 instead.

The MatePad T 10S is priced at Php 12,999.

Pros:

-Modern looks with slim bezels

-Has BOTH USB-C and headphone jack

-Good quality IPS display

Cons:

-So-so battery life

-Kirin 710A’s architecture is dated by 2020 standards

With Huawei further expanding its MatePad line, the MatePad T 10S sits in between the premium mid-range MatePad and the entry-level MatePad T 8. As a mid-range model, the MatePad T 10S has features found on its more expensive sibling such as USB-C, Harman Kardon tuned speakers, and slim bezels with a more palatable price tag.

Design

The MatePad T 10S fuses the design language of both the MatePad and MatePad T 8. It has the design DNA of the latter with its aluminum back with a plastic strip for the antennas, along with a protruding circular module for its 5-megapixel camera. Unlike the MatePad T 8 and the non-S model of the MatePad T 10s, you get Harman Kardon-tuned stereo speakers.

For the display, the MatePad T 10S shares the same design language as the MatePad: slim bezels surrounding the 10.1-inch IPS display and a 2-megapixel selfie snapper placed in landscape orientation. Unlike its more expensive sibling, the MatePad T 10S has a headphone jack in case you prefer listening using your favorite wired cans.

 

Display and speakers

As the name implies, the MatePad T 10S comes with a 10.1-inch IPS display with a Full HD-equivalent 1920×1200 resolution and Huawei’s ClariVu tech for crystal clear images. The MatePad T 10s’ brightness is great even for outdoor use, and its adaptive brightness setting is accurate.

The MatePad T 10S’ stereo speakers are loud and maintain their fidelity even at 100% volume. Their soundstage are more focused on the mids, though lows and highs remain to be audible even at the highest volume setting.

Cameras

Like the MatePad T 10 and T 8, you get the same set of cameras on the MatePad T 10S: 5-megapixel F/2.2 rear camera and 2-megapixel F/2.0 front camera. Tablets are not meant for photography, so you will have to manage your expectations with the MatePad T 10S.

Do note that both cameras need a good amount of light to snap decent photos. Because of their aperture opening and lack of a dedicated night mode, photos shot in low light are muddy. Taking photos using the MatePad T 10S is not advisable unless you really, really need to capture the moment in an instant.

Performance and Battery

Before you say that the MatePad T 10s uses a 2-year old processor, you should know that the Kirin 710A is entirely different from the Kirin 710 and Kirin 710F. Despite sharing the same name, the Kirin 710A is manufactured by China-based SMIC instead of TSMC, which is based in Taiwan. The Kirin 710A uses a 14nm process instead of the 12nm process used in the Kirin 710 and 710F, resulting in a lower 2.0Ghz clock speed. Check out our benchmark comparisons below:

In general, the Kirin 710A has slightly lower scores across the board compared to the Kirin 710. The lower scores are barely noticeable when playing games or with general productivity use. However, its use of a 14nm process makes this relatively new processor dated considering the competition is shifting to 10nm or newer architecture.

Like with every current Huawei device, the MatePad runs Android 10-based EMUI 10.1 with Huawei Mobile Services. Downloading your favorite apps is done through App Gallery or through Petal Search if they are not readily available at Huawei’s in-house app store.

Like what we mentioned in our quick review, the MatePad T 10S’ 5100mAh battery feels undersized for a device with a 10-inch display. Running our video loop test, we managed to get a little over 9 hours of battery life before going below 20%—a relatively decent result considering the battery capacity. In real-life use, that should translate to at least a day’s worth of use before plugging it into an outlet.

Charging the MatePad T 10S is done via USB-C, and its 10w charging tops up the battery to 100% in around 4 hours.

Wrap up and conclusions

Being the middle child of Huawei’s expanding MatePad line, the MatePad T 10S gives an ideal balance between the more expensive MatePad and the more affordable MatePad T 10 and T 8. It has the niceties of the MatePad with its Full HD display, USB-C, and Harman Kardon-tuned speakers, while having a price that is more accessible to consumers.

The decision to use a Kirin 710A and its rather small battery may be debatable, but our time with the MatePad T 10S proves that the processor of choice is one of the better options for any sub-Php 15k tablet.

The MatePad T 10S is priced at Php 12,999.

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